Week 45: Essential Releases [November 2014]

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Assistant Editor Chris Muniz reveals this week’s essential dnb cuts stirring it up at Kmag HQ.

DIVINE ELEMENTS – DRIVE EP [AUDIO PORN]
Hold on to your seatbelts as the Los Angeles-based crew known as Divine Elements are taking no prisoners on their debut EP for AudioPorn! From the spiraling build of the aptly titled “Shut ’em Down” on through to the shotgun kick of “Heart on Fire” with MC Dino, you can practically feel the dancefloor heat coming off this one. “Drive” and “Don’t Stop” keep the pressure at full-bore making this one an essential release from top to bottom for all those double-dropping, mosh-pit inducing selectors who want the dancefloor begging for more.

SHIVER – FRAGMENTED EP [FLEXOUT AUDIO]
Flexout Audio gave us a glimpse at Shiver’s heavy minimal vibes a few months back on the Logarithmic 2 LP but still we weren’t prepared for the massive nature of this six-track EP. With five cuts coming direct from the deep and haunted headspace of Shiver himself before Gran Calavera rolls out a handsome relick of ‘Crossover’ to round out the show, this is one of those rare, essential releases that hits it in all the right places. Standout tunes include “Falling Down” in collaboration with Mtwn, “Fragmented” and the subtle crusher “Solid State” that merges the dancefloor with the atmospheric headspace that even the most-seasoned bassbin traveler is sure to appreciate. An impressive release and definitely a name to keep an eye out for in the near future.

CHROMA – 201 DUB / SOVEREIGN [PROGRAM]
Ram Records’ sister imprint Program continues to shine as it culls the very best from the deeper side of things, this time unveiling a wicked singe from the Chroma collective. “201 Dub” tugs at the heart strings with its warm basslines and ragga-vocals before “Sovereign” on the flip pushes things into hypnotic amen territory as the breaks kick and pop over ethereal atmospheres in a haunting and satisfying way.

KIMYAN LAW – RUN AMES feat. Robert Manos / ECLAIRAGE [BLU MAR TEN]
From the opening bars of “Run Ames” it’s obvious something special is about to go down. When Robert Manos’ smooth vocals ease in atop Kimyan Law’s steady half-time beat and subtle bassline the goosebumps are in full-force and you can’t help but follow this one on through to the bittersweet end. “Eclairage” mines the same vein on the flip, conjuring up half-remembered dreams and suppressed fears as it leans and lurches its way into making you a Kimyan Law believer and fan. Did we mention he’s only 19? Did we mention that this debut single only hints at what’s still to come on his full-length LP project Coeur Calme due out later this month?

FIERCE & ZERO T – SUNSHINE / BLACK [QUARANTINE]
Fierce and Zero T link up for a double-dose of Irish funk in that classic Quarantine style. With “Back” bringing the gangsta kick and punch atop a swirling atmosphere, it isn’t until the deceptively titled “Sunshine” pushes things to the breaking point that we know we’re in for a heavy ride. The relentless kick steps hard on top of a wall-shuddering b-line sure to have the floor in a frenzy before steamrolling its way through to the end. Dirty hypnotism at its finest.

NU:TONE – FUTURE HISTORY LP [HOSPITAL]
In a year of big albums, Nu:Tone knocks this one into the stratosphere as he draws upon the past with an eye to the future. Unveiling like a historical document that is chronicling different eras and vibes in jungle/dnb history, in many ways the album feels like an homage to all those moments throughout the years on which the scene as we know it has been built. From the soulful “Tides” to the ragga-tinged dreamscape of “Lightning” on through to the Dynamite MC-inflected “Cannibals” things seem on par with what you’d expect from a pioneer in the scene. But when Kool Keith dips in for some ultramagnetic “Metaphor 6000” we begin to see how Nu:Tone’s genius is not only in looking back but outside the scene to remind us of the way in which dnb brings often disparate elements in way that continues to hint at some unrealized future just over the horizon.

DIGITAL, SPIRIT & RESPONSE – GARRISON LAW / DIFFERENT STYLE [V RECORDINGS]
The seminal duo known as Digital and Spirit bring relative newcomer Response into the fold as the trio unleash a pair of dark and heavy bassbin stormers. “Garrison Law” takes its time in building things up nice and slow before unloading the fear in that classic warehouse style. If that one doesn’t have them bowing down to the bass, “Different Style” is sure to push them over the edge as the old-school stabs and rumbling b-line bring on the flashbacks for the late-night speaker freakers. V Recordings going in dark on this one!!

HYPOXIA – BADASS / DISCOSHIT [TITAN]
The Belgium-based Hypoxia prove that they are no one-hit wonder as they deliver a pair of dirty scorchers for the always essential Titan crew. “Discoshit” take a soft hammer to the head before “Badass” absolutely kicks the doors in with a grimy low-end that is sure to have the kids begging for the reload. Like a beast that can’t be tamed, the groove comes alive right at the drop and shivers and shakes its way on through a Noisia and )E|3( inspired soundscape that is anything but derivative.

PISH POSH / THE BURNER BROS. – RAWKUTS REVISITED EP [ROCKERS 175]
Pish Posh drops a pair of classic VIP remixes of tunes that were absolutely running it Stateside in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s. “The Offlanders” takes things into dark territory but still with just enough of that dark jump-up flavor that used to have the kids wilding out in all kinds of ways. “Get Ill” is the quintessential Pish Posh cut drawing its energy straight from the hip-hop and “hardstep” streets of New York at the time. With a bigger kick and boom, this one’s re-visioned for the new-school dancefloor that still likes to bust a windmill in the middle of the dancefloor from time to time – look out!

CHOPSTICK DUBPLATE – WORLDWIDE TRAVELLER / RUMBLE JUNGLE LIFE [CHOPSTICK DUBPLATE]
There’s something here for everyone as the Chopstick family hosts Top Cat and Mr. Williamz on a smashing bubbler for the lighta crew. There’s the original jungle version and an amen VIP that unleash the proper heavy vibes while Dreadsquad and Mungo’s HiFi turn in re-licks worthy of the mightiest dancehall and dub skankers. King Kong and Mr. Williamz take “Rumble Jungle Life” down a similar path while Fleck winds it down to the 145 bpm range before Stivs and Kelvin 373 transform it into a skittering, trembling 175 raggalicious rinseout.

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About Author

Colin Steven co-founded Knowledge Magazine in 1994. He also runs a book publishing company called Velocity Press specialising in electronic music and club culture.

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